3%: Season 1/ Episode 1 "Chapter 1/Cubes" [Series Premiere] – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

In a dystopian future there is a clear divide between the rich and poor but, when a person turns 20, they have the opportunity to cross the divide.

Trigger Warning(s):

Suicide

The Introduction

She’ll finally get her chance. With Michele (Bianca Comparato) turning 20 she will now go through the process. Something known throughout the area as perhaps the once chance you’ll have to be moved offshore and having the potential for a better life. The catch is, only 3% get through and the challenges and tests are handled by humans. Meaning, there is always room for favoritism and error.

However, like many a dystopian film or show, not everyone is happy with the system. A terrorist group referred to as “The Cause” seeks to bring down the system. How isn’t revealed, but they do have a mole. One seeking revenge for their brother.

Things To Note

Characters to Look Out For

Fernando (Michel Gomes)

A young man in a wheelchair, father is a priest, and he is trying to prove he isn’t a burden. He seems like a sweetheart but hasn’t been pushed yet.

Matheus (Sérgio Mamberti)

This currently unseen figure seems to be for a more lenient process when it comes to recruiting people. However, with the first murder happening offshore, Nair wants to try to keep Ezequiel as the process leader.

Ezequiel (João Miguel)

The current process leader, for at least 5 years, and is currently under investigation. For with him choosing the first murderer to be moved to the offshore, the council is freaking out as are the people. That isn’t his only problem, though. While he knows how to choose productive people, ones who mesh well with the community aren’t his strong suit. Though as we really get to know him, and see him damn near drown himself, and a subordinate, to remind himself/them of their purpose, we realize he isn’t just some odd pragmatic person. No, he is twisted.

Aline (Viviane Porto)

As of now we just know she was sent to investigate Ezequiel but she could always have a separate agenda.

Nair (Zezé Motta)

She is assumingly Ezequiel’s direct supervisor and a member of the government council which runs the offshore island. She fears a Matheus takeover when it comes to their government and is relying on Ezequiel to not screw things up. For bad enough he’ll take the blame but it could eventually bite her in the butt as well.

Rafael (Rodolfo Valente)

One of those being processed and interestingly is using a false identity. Which, despite that, he doesn’t keep a low profile. He cheats during a test, picks a fight in the café, and is boisterous about using a strategy. One which involves more than just impressing people but doing what it takes to crossover.

Joana (Vaneza Oliveira)

Like Rafael, Joana seems suspicious. However, unlike him, she doesn’t have to cheat and use shady tactics for she exhibits quite a bit of multiple intelligences. Yet, despite seeming to have an edge, her attitude makes this process seem like an obligation. That or she has no fondness for being fake and telling everyone they want to hear at the expense of herself.

Cassia (Unknown)

Ezequiel’s right hand who seems to be part of his security team. She handles things after a suicide and is the one who interrogates three suspected Cause operatives.

Highlights

A Different Vibe In Comparison To Your Usual Dystopian Media

Dystopian futures, especially nowadays, are a dime a dozen and with how bleak things seem 3% doesn’t make an effort for its tone to stand out. However, its characters arguably are far more interesting than thus far seen. Joana, for example, looks like nothing you usually see in dystopian media, even for a co-star. Add on she has this attitude which is villainous, but she proves herself to be intelligent and has no need to cheat, and it makes you wonder if you can place her neatly in a box? Then with Fernando, honestly how often do you see characters in wheelchairs? Much less in media like this? Now, yes, he is sweet as can be and that makes him seem predictable but there is a bit of desperation in him. Not just for a cure but to not be a burden. So who knows how far he may go to prove a point. Much less, with it not being clear what tests these kids will face, who knows if they may force his dark side out.

In general, what I like about this process is it reminds me almost of The Hunger Games but without the requirement of murder. For even Rafael, who is an ass, as well as this dude part of the Alvarez family, which always passes the process, you want to learn more about them. You want to see how they handle this all, and you want to see if they get eliminated, survive, or maybe even die.

The Process

With the process, thus far, having an interview, a puzzle, allowing cheating, and if you fight you don’t necessarily get eliminated, it leaves you guessing. Aline hints that often the people within the process mirror the personality of the process leader, in this case, Ezequiel. So could it be he is recruiting like-minded individuals? Not for a revolution, per se, but is that why the rules, if there are a set of rules, exist as they do? Much less, why his staff all seem as nuts as he is.

Overall: Positive (Watch This)

Cautiously, I’m optimistic about this show. For while the Netflix English dubbing gets on my nerves, the voice overs are good enough to not be distracting. What will make or break this show though is how long it makes the process, whether it chooses to establish characters more going through it, and how the politics behind the scenes are handled. Which, as of episode 1, I feel mostly confident the show will handle well.

No ratings yet.

What's Your Take?

Comments (3)

  1. Pablo December 15, 2016
    • Amari Sali December 15, 2016
      • Bruna January 5, 2017

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